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Health-Care and Energy Stocks Lead a Subdued Post-Holiday Trading Day


Today's financial recap and tomorrow's financial outlook.

European markets and select Asian markets were closed today for holidays. This led to a much more subdued trading day than usual. Trading volume on the NYSE Composite was about 77% of its average from the last 10 days, and futures volumes were even less. The S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) opened near the flat-line and traded up about 0.3% for much of the day before closing +0.38%. Health-care and energy stocks were the best performers in the benchmark index.

The utilities sector was in the red despite a positive performance from US Treasuries. The 10-year yield fell as much as 3.5 basis points in today's session before closing down at 2.719%. Large-cap biotech stocks continued to rally.

Halliburton (NYSE:HAL) reported a strong quarter before the market opened today. The company also provided very positive guidance on its North American business in the coming quarter, which implied its oil business would experience a significant profit increase. The stock rose 3.25% in today's session. Related company Baker Hughes (NYSE:BHI) reported similar results and guidance last Thursday.

Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) reported earnings after the close, beating estimates for EPS and revenues were inline. The company's guidance for new customer additions in international markets far exceeded the expectations, which led to a 7.38% increase in the stock in after-hours trading. The options market had been priced for a one-day move of 11.55% after earnings. In other company news, Ford (NYSE:F) announced that COO Mark Fields would take over as CEO of the company, with current executive Alan Mulally leaving as early as May 1.

Tomorrow's Financial Outlook

Tomorrow morning, March existing homes sales will be released. These sales account for about 90% of the total home sales in the US. Sales are expected to decline by 0.9% month-on-month to an annual rate of 4.56 million. The February FHFA home price index is expected to show a monthly increase of 0.5% after rising 0.5% in the month prior. The Richmond regional manufacturing index is also scheduled to be released.

Former Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke is scheduled to give a speech to the Economic Club of Canada in Toronto tomorrow at 11:45 a.m. EDT.

The only global economic report of note scheduled for tomorrow is the advance April reading of eurozone consumer confidence. Economists expect the index to show no change from the prior month at -9.3.

Thirty nine major US companies are scheduled to report earnings tomorrow. Notable companies include McDonald's (NYSE:MCD), AK Steel (NYSE:AKS), Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT), Arch Coal (NYSE:ACI), Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD), AT&T (NYSE:T), Yum! Brands (NYSE:YUM), Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ:ISRG), and Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS).

Twitter: @Minyanville

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